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A Bridge of Starlings

by Ben Osborn

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    Inspired by the lamenting poetry of the Psalms, A Bridge of Starlings takes the motif of the 'break-up song' and twists it into a new, surreal shape. Ben Osborn's lyrics depict a dreamy, hungover cityscape in which the smallest details are loaded with memory and emotion. Alex Stolze's spacious production imbues the track with rhythmic drive and coats it in psychedelic atmospheres, singer Bethany Roberts' vocals cut through with crystal clarity, while Michael Bleach's found-sound beats tangle around the synths and prepared piano.
    Instrumental B-side Psalm 22 showcases the unique prepared piano sound characteristic of the Nonostar studio, its stark minimal texture decorated with lush washes of synthesiser harmonies.
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released February 8, 2019

Words and music by Ben Osborn.
Produced and mixed by Alex Stolze at the Nonostar Studio, Rosow. Mastered by Lupo Lubich at Calyx.

A Bridge of Starlings:
Ben Osborn - vocals, piano, synthesisers
Alex Stolze - vocals, beats
Michael Bleach - field recordings, beats
Bethany Roberts - field recordings, vocals

Psalm 22 (Instrumental):
Ben Osborn - piano, synthesisers

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Ben Osborn Bristol, UK

debut album out 19.04.19

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Track Name: A Bridge of Starlings
I took a train downtown
broken among the broke
smelling of last-night-smoke
one among grains of sand
in an upturned hourglass
I watched them roll past
and I checked my reflection
like a classroom skeleton
assembling itself
I count all my bones out
draw lines across the fractures
map negative space
the place where borders cross borders

but when I am an architect I will build a bridge for you
that crosses empty space but stops midway
a place to watch the small birds play
so c'mon

I took a train downtown
I thought I was a cave
somewhere you were chained
and they drip poison down
onto your body now
it evaporates into clouds
low green and dangerous
seen in the distance
noticed by strangers
mistaken for forests

but when I am an architect I will build a bridge in time
that spins, describing circles on the plains
a place to watch the small birds play
so c'mon

I took a train downtown
and outside the main station
I saw a small murmuration
living on pastry crumbs
nesting in coffee cups
I think they’re just like us
I think love is a bridge
a bridge made of starlings
it can’t carry anything
on its trembling wings

but when I am an architect I will build a complex bridge
a double helix, a whirlwind
a murmuration of static starlings
a place to watch the small birds play

and we’ll watch the small birds play
and I’ll say
‘for you, this was made…
…darling, for you, this was made...’

so c'mon.

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